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Hungary fines Booking.com 2.5B forints for unfair sales methods

Hungary's competition authority GVH imposed a fine of 2.5 billion Hungarian forints on Booking Holdings Inc.'s Dutch online reservation platform Booking.com BV for unfair business practices, Reuters reported April 29.

According to the news wire, GVH said the company's advertisements on free cancellation for some accommodations were misleading as the option was available only for a limited scope of bookings. Customers were also charged a fee for the option as Booking.com had incorporated the premium into accommodation prices, the report said.

In addition, GVH said the travel booking platform exerts "aggressive psychological pressure to facilitate faster bookings," Reuters reported.

In imposing the fine, the competition watchdog considered Booking.com's fee income from the Hungarian market following an investigation into the website launched in 2018, the report said.

As of April 28, US$1 was equivalent to 330.51 Hungarian forints.